Friday, October 29, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2010

Welcome to my Gardening and Quilting blog.  Today it is all about quilting, since it is the beginning of Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival.  Amy writes the blog "Amy's Creative Side" and she has been doing a bloggers quilt festival since the spring of 2009. My post for today will tell you more about one of my treasured quilts. 

My entry for this season's Blogger's Quilt Festival is one which I made for Thimbleberries Club.  Once it was finished, it became one of my favorite quilts.  I have not always been drawn to such a traditional and dark color scheme since I usually favor brighter hues.  However, once I saw how nice the throw looked in my living room, I was hooked!  I am on my third quilt now with this same dark palette. 

A little work once a month is an excellent way to make the dozen blocks over the period of the entire year.  Each of the blocks was fun to put together.  However, if the directions suggested using paper piecing I would have skipped that and found a way to make templates or remeasured and cut the small pieces with a rotary cutter.  I never can seem to get the hang of how to paper piece correctly.  It seems I don't know what side of the paper to sew on and which way to place the fabric.  I really have to get better at that technique.

corner view showing quilting close up


My sewing friend made this quilt too and we had a great time with the photo shoot last week.

When Margaret of Sewing and Quilt Gallery was getting started in her quilting business called Mainely Quilts of Love, my friend and I got in on a special offer as she was building her clients.  We got a very good deal on pantograph quilting.  She even offered to do custom quilting on it, but we both liked the stitch pattern called popcorn, so that is what we asked her to stitch.  We just loved how they looked when we opened the package that came in the mail just a few short weeks later.  If you ever need something quilted by a long arm artist, she's your gal. 
The only thing better than seeing the quilt just out of the mailing box, was when we took it out of the dryer after the first washing.  Unless of course, you count taking a nap with it!

I hope you will be able to enjoy the quilts of the season by visiting the many blogs over the next week or so.  The entire list will be archived by Amy at her blog, enabling you to go back and check them out even after this event ends.  She has a list of great sponsors that are offering many wonderful prizes so check them out too.

Look up quilts of past festivals by clicking on these links:  Spring of 2009, Fall of 2009, Spring 2010.

link for My entry from Fall 2009

link for My entry from Spring 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Coming Soon: Blogger's Quilt Festival

Amy will soon be hosting her now famous Festival for Quilt Blogger's.   It will be taking place  about a week from today.   Be sure to join in by visiting as many festival posts as you are able.  Or better yet, jump in by making your own post about a quilt and its story or history.  Be prepared for plenty of visual stimulation as you move from blog to blog.  There are sure to be many spectacular quilts to be admired.

Once again, I am reminded that I really got my start with this whole blogging thing because of how impressed I was as I visited so many postings the very first season that Amy began having Blogger's Quilt Festival.  It was after seeing so many wonderful blogs, I decided that I must have one of my own so that I could participated more fully when the next season's Quilt Blog Fest came around.  Perhaps you'd be interested in taking a look at some of the previous Festival Posts.  The Spring of 2009, Fall of 2009 and the Spring of 2010 are still listed at Amy's blog.  Have a great time exploring and meeting new quilt bloggers.

I have chosen my quilt and am in the process of writing up some details.  This coming weekend I will be doing a photo shoot.  I have something a little different planned.  You see, my sewing buddy has agreed to join me in the fun of making the post for Amy's special event.   I am looking forward to getting together with her to do the writing.  She will be involved in some of the photography as well.

A big thank you goes out to Amy.  She is amazing for getting the idea together in the first place and continuing to host this virtual quilt show. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wool Applique and Embellishment Class with Sue Spargo

class sample by Sue Spargo
Using lightbox to trace applique on freezer wrap
wool pieced background with aqua dot cotton print 
part of our class taking notes

another cute example by Sue

Quilt from Sue's trunk show

a different view of quilting class

luncheon table setting ~ simply beautiful

A very big thank you to Diane and Monica for the most delicious lunch.  It included fresh salads with many toppings and the piping hot wild rice soup served in bread bowls.  What a creative way to serve up the salads ingredients and the tea.  Did you see the crocks?  Those crocks held the salad.  The mason and jelly jars were used for all the fun toppings of the salad.  Everyone appreciated the beautiful runner down the center of the table.  Lunch was a special treat!

awesome leaf sampler
2nd leaf sampler
detail of leaf sampler
After lunch the focus was on more embellishing and stitching.  Sue demonstrated stitches to small groups upon request.  I believe she did the bullion stitch several times.  It was a popular one.
note the pebble stitch quilting on the wool background
work by classmate, Diane of La Crescent, MN
berry sampler details

berry sampler
handwritten label using pigment pen

Sue spoke about the importance of having a label on each quilt.  She feels very strongly about this.  She has been providing labeling suggestions with all of her patterns.

Sue and me near the end of class
my layered and stitched leaf
As Sue suggests, " This type of hand work is very enjoyable and it is meant to be a journey."  It will take many hours to work on all the components of this quilt.  I will take my time and enjoy the process!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you to Heather for this great blogger's award.  She writes a very nice blog about her book reviews, knitting, and quilting.  She was so kind to nominate me for my award.  Her blog is called Books and Quilts and you may want to check it out sometime soon. 

Here is a top7 things about me list:

7.  As you can probably tell from my blog, I like quilting, gardening, and cooking.  Probably in that order too!  Shortly after starting this blog, I got into it so much that I actually started a second blog to connect with artists and art educators.  It is called Gallery2404.

6.  I am interested in bike riding, reading, and lots of different crafts.  I often make my own notecards.

5.  When I travel, I like to visit the historical homes in the area and shop for antiques.   I adore old Singer sewing machines and also collect toy hand crank machines.

4.  I am married to a mopar guy and while he hangs out in the garage, I make my quilts.

3.  I am a coffee, wine, and tea drinker, it just depends on what time of day it happens to be at the moment. 

2.  I love SPRING the best of all the seasons.  Tulips are my favorite flower.  I also love the bright yellowish greens of the newly opened leaves and grasses.

1.  I teach full time at a wonderful Catholic grade school.  The subjects I teach are: Art for grades 3 - 6 and reading - language arts for special needs students.  I wouldn't change a thing about my job or the students.  The only thing I'd request is less playground duties!  That really cuts into art prep time!!!

Now I'd like to nominate some of my favorite bloggers and followers for this same award:

Julie's Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss                 lovely topiary tutorials

Phyl @ There's a Dragon in My Art Room            great classroom advice, scenic photos

Susan's Blackberry Creek Home Arts                    great decorating advice  many different topics

Heather's Heckety Beck                                           funny and very versatile!  great photos of Ireland too

Genie @ Buttons for Baga                                                crafty tips and many mimes

Nikki of NikkiLee RavioLee Dreams                                  wonderful stitcher of Crazy quilts

Vivian's Whistle Stop Quilting                         long arm quilting and cute schnauzer doggie

Leslie @ Pea Soup Designs                             cool jewelry designs

Barb of A Corgi to Quilt By                            quilting inspiration

ArtMuse67                                            art teacher advice

Sandi of A Legacy of Stitches              prolific posts!  great Monday feature of quilts on the line!

Julia's Green Quilts                               artistic quilt creations

Patty @ Attic Clutter                               paintings and decorating tips  Garden inspiration too!

Melissa - MamaBug's Musings              Crafting and mom's tips

Alyson's Petals                                          beautiful photography

April of April's Art and April's Things    inspiring artistic posts and creative gatherings

If you happen to visit these bloggers, leave them a comment and let them know that "Kathy the Cottage Garden Quilter sent you".
The conditions of this award are that all recipients must:

1. Thank and link back to the person that gave this award

2. Write 7 things about yourself

3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic

4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked to let them know about the award

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Quilt Show and Special Class

I attended the Quilt Fest on the Mississippi today at the Omni Center in Onalaska.  Forgot the camera, and was disappointed by that, because there were many beautiful quilts.  Perhaps if there is time, I may run back tomorrow. 

A friend's daughters (twins) even had their special 30's print  raw edge bulls eye quilts in the show.  Of course, their experienced quilter Grammy and Mom assisted them in the construction!  The quilts were just beautiful and Abby and Emma made many of the fabric selections themselves.  Since the 30's prints are layered and loosely appliqued they have such an antique look already!  Both quilts looked like they came right out of a great grandma's trunk!  I loved the worn look.

It will be a busy day however, because I have signed up to take an Altered Texture class with Sue Spargo!  Yes, she is in town and teaching at Olive Juice Quilt shop all day tomorrow.  A friend and I attended the meet and greet party this evening over at the shop.  We loved her beautiful wool quilts, so we went ahead and signed up this evening and took our sweet little kits home.  Now, I have homework to get done before the class starts Sunday morning at 9AM.  

Here's part of what was in my kit.  I am now stitching the aqua dotted fabric to some wool to get the pieced background together.  I'd like to make the blue wools in a crazy patch, but I hate to run out of time.  It is getting late, so I'll most likely piece it in rectangles as it shows in the pattern.  

sample block

Notebook with design photo

Once the wool applique pieces are attached we will be learning to layer other cotton fabrics on top of the leaves, flowers, and birds to add more pattern and depth.  Sue will be showing us some decorative embroidery as well.  I know I like the techniques already, because it reminds me of crazy quilting!  I have been wanting to know more about working with wool and now is my chance to learn from one of the very best stitchers, Sue Spargo!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Topiary Fun

My garden fun and whimsy happens to be my topiary collection.  I grew two this year and they are both animals.  The giraffe stands about 36 inches high and the alligator is a generous 29 inches long.
additional trimming after it was cut loose from the groundcover

The one that turned out best is my alligator.  I have the wire form stuffed with green moss and he is planted up with a variety of succulents.  Usually he resides by the walkway that leads to our side door. 

alligator on the walkway

However, this summer I was experimenting at growing a ground cover on his body as a filler between the hens and chicks (sempervivum)So he needed to grow under the maple tree for about 5 weeks until the sedum took root.  I set him free tonight when I trimmed him loose and moved him to my favorite sunning spot.

This is not the best photo of the giraffe, so I'll have to get a better viewpoint.  But it is growing directly in the garden and the ivy came back from last season.  I was surprised about that.  It may be due to the early and heavy snow cover we got so early in the season.  The snow probably acted as an insulator.
Umbrella Topiary (grown in 2008 and 2009)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Blocks for Soot and Ashes

This idea for the 5 inch block quilt along is by Cheri.  Her blog is a fairly new blog.  You may want to stop by and see for yourself.  If you like the country and primatives look, this quilt along may be something you'd like to do too.  Cheri's blocks now are numbered in the order she is presenting them.  She is making them in cream and black, but suggests that you may do any color scheme. 
I need to get back to these cute 5 inch blocks really soon.  I have about 8 to get caught up on that I know of and I need to read about the suggested way they will be set together.  I saw the idea on Jo's Country Junction and Pauline's Sweet P Quilting and Creations.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hanging Baskets

I wanted to share a few photos around my yard and garden, before the cold weather kicks into full force. 


 My hanging basket plan worked out quite well for the 2010 gardening season.  I started with 2 scented geraniums and used cuttings to get 3 more plants in spare baskets.  I used various petunias trying to get some reddish flowers in one basket, pink ones in another, and some purple and orange flowers in another.  Each basket had either a plug or a cutting from the sweet potato vine, as well. 

I gave each of the baskets a good dose of Miracle Grow for the last time and I had a pretty good bloom for the beginning of October in our zone 4 area!  These are somewhat protected by the patio roof and we haven't had a frost yet.  My plan is to see how long I can make them last! 

I guess this one needs a liitle water !